Dr Mayumi Hayashi 


Dr Mayumi Hayashi, originally from Japan, is a researcher who focuses on the participation and rights of older people including those with dementia in the UK and Japan in policy and practice – specifically dementia-friendly initiatives supporting and empowering people with dementia and their carers.

Mayumi has written and broadcasted widely. Her publications include: The Care of Older People: A Comparative Study, England and Japan (Routledge, 2013), ‘The Japanese voluntary sector’s responses to the increasing unmet demand for home care from an ageing population’ (Ageing & Society 2014) and ‘Rights and a Rights Based Approach for people living with dementia’ [in Japanese] (Clinical Psychiatry 2017). She has also written extensively for The Guardian, Health Service Journal, Housing LIN and her research has been broadcasted on the BBC and CBC. She has briefed several government committees on Japan’s care (dementia) policies and presented at international conferences including World Health Organization (Kobe, Japan). 


Setsuo Kato MBE


Setsuo Kato, photo-journalist, was born in Tokyo and studied journalism at Waseda University. In 1966 he joined Keystone Press Tokyo, news photo agency. Came to London in 1970 to study photo-journalism at the College of Journalism in Fleet Street. He has widely worked as a freelance journalist for Japanese newspapers, magazines, radio and TV covering mainly Britain and Europe. Has published 16 books on Britain.  From 1991 to 2002 he published own newspaper called “The Nichi-Ei Times” serving for the Japanese community in the UK. He is currently the editor of Nippon Club (the society for ex-Pats Japanese in the UK) Newsletter and is teaching photography in London. He was a Japan Liaison Advisor for the Leach Pottery Restoration Project 2004 – 2008, and is a founder of the Japanese Resident Association in the UK (JA).

He was awarded the Japanese Ambassador’s Commendation and the Japan Society Award in 2000 and the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Commendation in 2015.  He was awarded the Member of British Empire (MBE) in 2019 in recognition of his longstanding contribution to the promotion of Japan-UK relations through photo-journalism.

He is a member of National Union of Journalist and a General Committee Member of Nippon Club and other various committee member. Setsuo enjoys travelling, walking in the countryside and growing vegetables.


Richard Hays – Treasurer


Mr Hayes was born in Birmingham but grew up and went to school in Shropshire. Since when he has lived for most of his life in London. After attending Kings College, London he qualified as a chartered accountant in 1972 (gaining a prize for the highest marks in his local area that year).  Later he passed the exams to be a chartered tax adviser. Most of his working life has been spent with KPMG an international firm of chartered accountants advising on corporate taxation.  Amongst the many clients and projects he worked on were the UK and foreign investments of a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund; setting up a joint venture to build nuclear power stations in the UK; setting up a joint venture to build cars in Russia; advising one of the great livery companies of London. Since retiring from KPMG he has continued to work as a corporate tax adviser to various companies owned by the GLA and to a private healthcare company.
He tries to keep moderately fit by swimming and cycling and takes a lively interest in the visual arts, architecture and opera.  He likes walking in the countryside, reading and keeping abreast of current affairs.


Dr Soong Moon Kang – Secretary

azuki_soongDr Kang is an Associate  Professor in Management Science and Innovation at University College London. His teaching and research interests include business strategy, innovation, entrepreneurship, social network analysis and complex systems. Prior to his academic career, Soong had an extensive industry experience in Europe, Asia and the U.S.A. He worked as a manager for market analysis and business strategy for Snecma in Paris, and as a consultant in corporate strategy for LG in Seoul. In Silicon Valley, he co-founded an Internet company, and he was a consultant and advisor to many start-up companies, venture capitalists, and large corporations, including Daimler. He holds a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University.

Founder and Director

Akiko Yanagisawa

Akiko Yanagisawa is an experienced creative curator and producer, specializing in Japanese arts and culture. She has produced, and curated  highly-acclaimed  projects and events in more than 40 countries across the world.  She also conducts research on cultural topics in the UK and Europe commissioned by think-tanks and the Japanese government, as well as writing articles for magazines and national newspapers in Japan .  Akiko is enthusiastic about social change and she believes that everyone should equally has right to access to creative arts experiences, and Japanese arts and culture can make contributions.  She founded Azuki Foundation in 2012. She holds BA in Philosophy at Gakushuin University,Tokyo, and MA in Arts Management at The City, University of London. Akiko is a classical music lover and enjoy playing the pieces of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Chopin.